An interesting ‘what if’ in the sidebar of mixed martial arts was a rumored bout between wrestling legend Kurt Angle and MMA legend Ken Shamrock.
Shamrock had spent some time in WWE and even won the intercontinental title at a time when holding that belt was still considered a big deal. Kurt Angle of course is a former WWE heavyweight champion and Olympic wrestling gold medalist. With Ken’s submission and grappling prowess, it would have made for an intriguing match-up. Could Ken take advantage of Angle’s inexperience defending submissions or would Kurt take Shamrock down and hold him down? A true ‘what if’.
Angle revealed on his ‘Kurt Angle Show’ why this fight never materialized. It had a lot to do with his documented neck injuries affecting his physical abilities. At one point in in WWE he was challenged by a rookie hopeful with legit MMA skills named Daniel Puder. Angle was caught in an arm lock and had the referee not picked up on the fact that Puder had his shoulders on the mat and counted to 3 – Kurt’s credibility would have taken a serious hit.
Check out some of what he said.
There was no way I was able to do it. I had no strength in my upper body. If you remember my thing with Daniel Puder, I couldn’t do three push-ups at that particular time. Dan caught me in an armbar, I was in trouble, if he would have kept going, if he wouldn’t have pinned himself, I would have ended up breaking my arm.
Angle without neck injuries would have been a perfect candidate for an MMA run. An elite shoot wrestler with eventual multiple discipline training would have been a nightmare for quite a few fighters.